What To Do When A Tornado Siren Goes Off

Recently, we experienced a tornado warning which left me feeling quite frightened. Tornado warnings are not common in Ireland, so this was a new and daunting experience for me. Despite having encountered some terrifying situations in the past, this was undoubtedly one of the most unsettling, as there is no sense of control. In light of this, it’s important to know how to prepare for a tornado and what to do when the sirens go off.

What is a Tornado?

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. It appears as a dark, funnel-shaped cloud and moves rapidly, causing significant damage to anything in its path. Tornadoes can be incredibly destructive and are capable of demolishing buildings, uprooting trees, and hurling objects at high speeds. They are usually formed during severe thunderstorms, but can also develop during tropical storms and hurricanes.

Be Prepared

To ensure safety during a tornado, it’s essential to have the following items prepared:

  • It’s crucial to have fresh batteries and a battery-operated TV, radio, or internet-enabled device on hand to stay updated with the latest emergency weather information during a tornado.
  • In order to prepare for a tornado, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place which includes access to a safe shelter for yourself, your family, people with special needs, and your pets.
  • During a tornado, having an emergency kit containing water, non-perishable food, and medication is crucial.
  • It’s important to keep a list of essential information, such as telephone numbers, readily available during a tornado.

To ensure the safety of your children during a tornado, it’s important to educate them about what a tornado is, what tornado watches and warnings mean, which county or parish they live in (as warnings are typically issued by county or parish), and what qualifies as a safe shelter, whether at home or at school.

Stay Aware of Weather Conditions

To ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones during a tornado, it’s important to closely monitor changing weather conditions in your area. If you’re aware of thunderstorms in the forecast, stay updated on local radio and TV stations, or a NOAA weather radio station, for further weather information. Keep in mind that some tornadoes can strike without warning. To be aware of potential tornadoes approaching, watch out for the following weather signs:

  • A dark or green-colored sky
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud
  • Large hail
  • A loud roar resembling that of a freight train.

If you observe any of these weather conditions, seek cover immediately and remain tuned to local radio and TV stations, a NOAA weather radio station, or the internet for further updates.

Know Where To Shelter

The leading cause of injuries and fatalities during a tornado is falling or flying debris. While there is no completely safe place during a tornado, certain locations are significantly safer than others.

It’s recommended to go to the basement or an interior room on the lowest floor without windows (such as a bathroom, closet, or center hallway). If feasible, avoid seeking shelter in a room with windows. For additional protection, take cover under a sturdy object (such as a heavy table or workbench), and shield your body with a blanket, sleeping bag, or mattress. Make sure to protect your head with any available object.

It’s not safe to stay in a mobile home during a tornado.

If you happen to be outside or in a mobile home, try to find a nearby building, preferably one with a basement. In the case of being in a car, avoid attempting to outrun a tornado, and instead, find the nearest sturdy building.

As no one can predict the strength of a tornado before it touches down, it’s essential to stay informed about local weather conditions, particularly when thunderstorms are expected. Be prepared for the possibility of a tornado by creating an emergency plan for your home and family. It’s easier to move to a shelter quickly when everyone knows where to go, whether they are inside or outside. By following these guidelines, you’ll have the best chance of staying safe during a tornado.

Read more about Tornado’s Here.

Read more of my Lifestyle Posts here!

Love, Bee xx

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